The Goblins of Bellwater
By Molly Ringle
Summary: A contemporary romance inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market.” Four neighbors encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…
Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.
Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.
Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.
It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.
Source: I purchased a paperback
I picked up The Goblins of Bellwater on a whim while book shopping. I was drawn to the cover and the fact that it’s set near where I’m currently living. I love the idea of goblins in the woods and have enjoyed every goblin/faery story with that plot/backdrop, so I felt like this was a great pick for me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think the book was as gorgeous as the cover. I don’t know what I expected, but I think what ultimately failed for me was the execution. I knew going into it that was more of an urban fantasy/new adult romance and that was fine, but i think I expected a bit more magic and even the sensual aspects, since it was based off of the poem, to be higher and more ramped up. Skye lingered in the forests and was drawn to the spell of the goblins, but I didn’t FEEL it. When she was quiet and cursed, I didn’t feel the longing that way I expected. Instead, the POV switched over to the sister and became more of an ordinary small town romance. I wish I wouldn’t been more connected to the characters.
In the end, the book felt more like a contemporary romance that you’d find for 2 bucks on Amazon and I don’t mean that in a good way. It was forgettable and not as enchanting as the synopsis or cover suggested. It was frustrating because there was so much potential for the story to be amazing and it just didn’t fit together in a way that grabbed me.